In fact, there are several layers to the law-making process in the US, and there are many possibilities for outside groups to have their say. In this area, public relations firms frequently function as an advocate for the interests of their customers by supplying pertinent information to the legislators drafting and voting on legislation that affects their industry. Public affairs specialists fight intense, short-term policy battles as well as act as trusted counsel, influencing the world’s power centres in order to further protect and advance their clients. In the United States, Washington, DC serves as the focal point for a large portion of this activity. Additionally, each state maintains a thriving public relations programme centred mostly in the state capital.
Corporations, trade associations, and advocacy groups have grown their involvement in public affairs campaigns over the past 20 years. This reflects in part the wider media’s increased desire to cover what has historically been a “Washington-focused” public policy discourse. Clients are becoming more aware of the need to participate in the discussion as greater focus is placed on how policies affect the world outside the Beltway. Clients from various backgrounds are also becoming more aware of the fact that different audiences have different perspectives on them. The big themes that frequently make headlines—healthcare, education, energy, environment, and economy—are those that offer the most potential in public affairs. Currently, it accounts for roughly 10% of the revenue generated by PR firms.
Public affairs is an important and meaningful field that affects people’s lives. It strives to create a better society through advocacy, community engagement, and education. With so much potential to make a positive impact, public affairs are worth investing in.